Get to know Windows 8 Clear, concise instructional videos, and a great place to start really easing you into the whole Windows 8 experience. They’re divided into sections: a Windows 8 overview, a tutorial on using the Charms feature, a comparison between Windows 8 and earlier versions of Windows, a “how to” on customizing the Start screen, application commands, switching between applications, and using two apps at once (Snap).
Setting up your PC with Windows 8 Includes an overview of the setup process, a section on setting up and configuring your various devices, installing applications, and moving files, favorites, and settings.
Personalize your PC with Windows 8 An overview of the personalization process, followed by sections on changing your background, colors, and account picture. Video tutorials continue with customizing your Start screen (building on what you learned in the Setting Up tutorial of the same name), signing in with a picture password, and handling different languages.
Apps in the Windows Store An overview of adding new apps (shorthand for “applications,” AKA programs) to Windows 8 through the Windows Store, along with advice on how to manage your apps, including rating reviewing, and sharing them.
Beyond the Basics Once you get the fundamentals under your belt, it’s time to move on toward mastery. This section teaches how to change settings, Start, and more; new keyboard shortcuts; how to set up and sue multiple monitors in a “virtual desktop” (highly recommended), how to manage apps and services using the Task Manager, using Remote Desktop, and how to optimize your hard drive.
Help from Other Sources
We also recommend this useful article: Windows 8 cheat sheet: ”How to find your way around Microsoft’s new OS and make the most of its features” (via Computerworld.com).
Here’s a well-executed Using Windows 8 Charms video tutorial from Theofficialwindows8 YouTube channel:
The same videographer offers many other worthy tutorials, as well. Check them out.
Download a free app that, once installed on your Windows 8 system, offers a series of easy, step-by-step visual lessons. It’s called Learn Windows8, and is offered on Microsoft’s Windows Store here. The publisher describes what their app does:
- Lessons with Visual aids to guide new users through Windows 8 user interface and apps
- Learn the keyboard shortcuts & other cool tips to help navigate through the Windows 8 UI
- Step-by-Step mode to try the lessons along with the app
- Periodic lesson updates to the app with new and interesting lessons
GCFLearnFree.org offers 17 lessons, five video tutorials, and a number of extras, all geared toward getting you going with Windows 8.
HP has put together a Windows 8 Support section on their website, and it’s not limited to just those using their products. It does, however, offer ample assistance getting HP printers and multifunctions working well with Windows 8 systems.
Tech supersite c|net has put together a large collection of their best articles, tips, and advice. Their Complete guide to using Windows 8 (roundup) is a tremendously helpful resource, divided into clearly delineated sections like Preparing for Windows 8, Starting up and shutting down, The basics, and much more.
Subscription learning site Lynda.com has earned an enviable reputation for some of the best online tutorials on the ‘Net. They’ve really stepped up with their series of Windows 8 training courses. You can try them – along with any of their other courses – for seven days at no charge. After that, subscriptions start at $25 a month. We suggest starting with Windows 8 Release Preview First Look, then moving on to Windows 8 Essential Training.
And if you’re still finding some of Windows 8′s… um, quirks and eccentricities to be unbearable, you might take a look at PC World’s 8 worst Windows 8 irritations (and how to fix them). Its author, Brad Chacos, has been using Windows 8 from its early development all the way through to its public release last fall. As he explains, “After spending more than a year conquering the operating system’s overhauled (and nonintuitive) interface in its various prerelease iterations, I’ve now entered a second stage of frustration: I find myself cursing at Windows 8′s major changes less and less, but shaking my fist and swearing like a sailor at its little irritations more and more.” His article goes a long way towards addressing those “little irritations.”
Visit our Windows 8 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page here.
Many thanks to Ashland-based consultant Lance Bisaccia for his invaluable assistance in assembling these links.